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Rio Olympics 2016: How do 2016 world track leading times compare to the records?

Rio Olympics 2016: How do 2016 world track leading times compare to the records?

The Olympics are two weeks away and we’re all swotting up on everything from records to medal hopefuls. In the first of a series of three, ANTOINETTE MULLER looks at how 2016 leading times compare with the Olympic and World Records for track events.

What is an Olympics if records don’t fall? Well, it’s almost all of the Olympics in the last ten to 20 years – when it comes to track events at least.

Just three world records fell on the outdoor track at the 2012 London Olympics and just nine of the current world records were set at Olympic events. But sport science is forever progressing and athletes are training better and smarter than ever. Yet, if we look at the world’s leading times of 2016, many are still way off the pace of both the World and Olympic records. Is it a case of peaking at the right time or are some of these records set to stand forever?

With just two weeks to go before the Olympics officially kick off, we take a look at 2016’s leading times and how they stack up against some of the records of yore.

Men’s 100m and 200m

Fastest time in 2016: 9.80 (100m), 19.74 (200m)
Olympic Record: 9.63 (100m), 19.30 (200m)
World Record: 9.58 (100m), 19.19 (200m)

Usain Bolt holds the record for both events in Olympics. He set the record for the 100m at the 2012 Olympics, clocking up 9.63 seconds while running the 200m in 19.30. These aren’t world records, but Bolt holds that honour, too, with 9.58 seconds in the 100m – set on 16 August 2009 – and 19.19 in the 200m – set on 20 August 2009. The leading time for 2016 is a long way off both records, with the USA’s Justin Gaitlin running the 100m in 9.80 in July this year and LaShawn Merrit, also from the States, clocking 19.74 in the 200m in June.

Women’s 100m and 200m

Fastest time in 2016: 10.70 (100m), 21.93 (200m)
Olympic Record: 10.62 (100m), 21.34 (200m)
World Record: 10.49 (100m), 21.34 (200m)

The USA’s Florence Griffith-Joyner holds the Olympic record for both events in the Olympics having clocked 10.62 in the 100m at the 1988 Olympics and 21.34 in the 200m at the same event. The latter is also the world record and, unsurprisingly, Griffith-Joyner also holds the 100m world record, having run 10.49 at the 1988 US Olympic trials in 1988. This year’s fastest 100m time for women came from Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson, who ran 10.70 in July this year while Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers clocked the best time for 200m in 2016, running 21.93 on 9 June.

Men and women’s 400m

Fastest time in 2016: 43.97 (men), 49.68 (women)
Olympic Record: 43.49 (men), 48.24 (women)
World Record: 43.18 (men), 47.60 (women)

The USA’s Michael Johnson ran the Olympic 400m in a time of 43.49 at the 1996 Olympics and holds the world record for the event with a time of 43.18, set at the 1999 World Championships. The best time for a 400m in 2016 is by LaShawn Merrit with a time of 43.97. South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk has the third-fastest time this year at 44.11.

In the women’s 400m, France’s Marie-José Pérec holds the Olympic record with a time of 48.25, set in 1996 in Atlanta. East Germany’s Marita Koch has the World Record, 47.60 set back in 1985. The fastest time for this event in 2016 is way off the clock, with the USA’s Allyson Felix running the 400m in 49.68 in July.

Men and women’s 800m

Fastest time in 2016: 1:43:35 (men), 1:55:33 (women)
Olympic Record: 1:40:91 (men), 1:53:43 (women)
World Record: 1:40:91 (men), 1:53:28 (women)

Kenya’s David Rudisha holds both the world record and the Olympic record for the event, with a time of 1:40:91 set at the 2012 Olympics. Rudisha also has the fastest 800m time for the year, but it’s almost three seconds off his best with 1:43:35.

Nadezhda Olizarenko has the Olympic record in the women’s event with a time of 1:53:43 set at the 1980 Moscow Games, while Czechoslovakia’s Jarmila Kratochvílová has the world record with a time of 1:53:28. South Africa’s Caster Semenya has the best time for 2016, having run 1:55:33 just last week. Her time was the best in the 800m since 2008, but it’s a long way off the record. It was, however, almost a second faster than the second best time of the year – with Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba running 1:56:24 in the same event.

Men and women’s 1500m

Fastest time in 2016: 3:29:33 (men), 3:56:41 (women)
Olympic Record: 3:32:07 (men), 3:53.96 (women)
World Record: of 3:26:00 (men), 3:50.07 (women)

Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj holds the World Record with a time of 3:26:00, set at the Golden Gala in 1998 while the Olympic record belongs to Kenya’s Noah Ngeny with 3:32:07, set at the 2000 Games in Sydney. This year’s fastest runner – Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop – is still some way off the pace with 3:29:33.

In the women’s event, Paula Ivan from Romania set the Olympic record in Seoul back in 1988, running a time of 3:53.96 while Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba set the world record last year, clocking a time of 3:50.07. This year’s leading time was 3:56:41, run by Kenya’s Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon, Dibaba’s fastest time for 2016 is 3:59:71.

Other notable track events and when the records were set:

Men’s 5,000m

Olympic Record: 12:57.82 (2008)
World Record: 12:37.35 (2004)
Fastest time in 2016: 12:59.43

Men’s 10,000m

Olympic Record: 27:01.17 (2008)
World Record: 26:17.53 (2005)
Fastest time in 2016: 26:51.11

Men’s 110m hurdles:

Olympic Record: 12.91 (2004)
World Record: 12.80 (2012, not at the Olympics)
Fastest time in 2016: 12.98

Men’s 400m hurdles:

Olympic Record: 46.78 (1992)
World Record: 46.78 (1992, Olympics event)
Fastest time in 2016: 48.10

Women’s 5,000m

Olympic Record: 14:40.79 (2000)
World Record: 14:11.15 (2008)
Fastest time in 2016: 14:12.59

Women’s 10,000m

Olympic Record: 29:54.66 (2008)
World Record: 29:31.78 (1993)
Fastest time in 2016: 30:07.00

Women’s 100m hurdles:

Olympic Record: 12.35 (2012)
World Record: 12.21 (1988)
Fastest time in 2016: 12.24

Women’s 400m hurdles:

Olympic Record: 52.64 (2008)
World Record: 52.34 (2003)
Fastest time in 2016: 52.88

Photo: South Africa’s Caster Semenya (C) competes in the women’s 800m race at the Mohammed VI IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rabat, Morocco, 22 May 2016. EPA/ABDELHAK SENNA


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